Tag Archives: Tulip

December ‘Gardening’ in the Rain – 8 December 2018 – Six on Saturday

The weather has been wet, very wet, in Manchester this week – but it’s still mild for time of year. There’s hasn’t been too much gardening by me except for bulb planting in pots in the porch. My Chap has the unenviable task of putting them out around the garden. The wet weather makes my arthritis ache which makes me tired – ho hum.  But we have been making plans, plans for the garden, plans for #ChristmasatDunhamMassey, plans for relaxation and self-care.

So I nipped out today with the ‘big coat’ on to take photos for my #SixonSaturday and then retreated indoors to take some more 😉

1. Hacking around

We’ve been out doing some pruning today in the Rain – mainly because it’s so windy we’re worried it will damage the shrubs and the privet tree. Well, My Chap has been chopping things down – he’s a trooper.

Me? I was hacking down the grasses and the ends of lavender (there are about 20 bushes so it takes a while). And making mugs of tea.

This hand hoe is just great – very sharp. It’s comfy to use too – I’m terrible with tools as I’m so clumsy. I won it in a Twitter competition earlier in the year 🙂 Whey! I was gobsmacked to see Burgon and Ball were founded in 1730. They made agricultural shears in Sheffield – Steel City. It’s good to see a family business still going strong.

2. Bulb love

Most people go to TK Maxx to buy cheap clothes, random homeware, and weirdly flavoured chocolates. Me? I come back with cheap pots and bulbs – I’ll be potting these up tomorrow, in the porch 🙂

3. Violas and Pansies

Orange Pansy

Pansies in the rain

Orange pansies are taken with my Lensbaby #Trio28 – sweet effect. This a sharp focus with a soft, dreamy focus to the edge (So no cropping as you’ll lose it).

The violas and pansies are looking more chirpy, especially if they’re out of the rain.

4. Roses in the Rain

The orange rose is STILL flowering – all through the summer had a rest in September and it’s been flowering since late October…

My Chap says it needs pruning so I think that’s tomorrows job apparently.

Red Patio Roses – Lensbaby #Trio28 – twist

I’d moved the patio rose into the porch out of the wind and rain – it obviously liked its new spot as it flowered again. I moved it to take this photo as I wanted to see if I could get a good twist shot. In poor light, I thought this was a good effort.

5. #ChristmasatDunhamMassey

#ChristmasatDunhamMassey two giant reindeer made of lights in the woods with red and blue lights

#ChristmasatDunhamMassey – giant reindeer in the woods

These reindeer are about 40 foot high – plenty of other deer in the woods.

I had such a good time at #ChristmasatDunhamMassey* I booked to take My Chap and some pals next weekend. There are still places left especially in the week – it’s on until 30 December- book online for #ChristmasatDunhamMassey here. I’ll write a more detailed post next week – I’ve got the video to edit first.

Or check out a light show near you – they’re spectacular.

*I was invited free of charge to the preview evening for National Trust Staff – in return for social media coverage – I always give my honest opinion.

6. Indoor gardening 😉

Since the weather is so grim outside, I’m mostly reading these magazines. I learn so much from both titles – especially Gardeners’ World.  I believe you never stop learning so and I’m far from an expert when it comes to gardening.  Bit rubbish at remembering Latin names… oops – could be the E in ‘O’ level Latin to blame.

I might just have ordered a few plants for next year…double oops.

I joined RHS a few years back as we go to Tatton Park or another RHS show every year. So you can imagine my excitement when it was announced their 5th Garden – RHS Bridgewater will be two miles up the canal from us in Worsley, in Salford (right by the Junction 13 on M60 for the locals).  It’s coming along nicely – I’ll be going for a look round soon I hope.  The Garden and membership are handy because Wisley is near my mum house’s so we go when we are visiting her. She goes with her pals every month – they have a nice lunch and a good walk round to see what’s flowering – and buy a plant or two.  I get my love of gardening from my Mum.

Reading the magazines, listening to the rain hitting the windows, I’m planning and thinking of high summer and all the plants I’ll grow next year…how my bones won’t ache, how everything will grow and bloom just as it should – reality isn’t usually like that… but hey gardeners are optimists at heart.

*****

As usual, I’m joining J from www.thepropagatorblog.wordress.com with #SixonSaturday – he’s got many cuttings, seedlings and tiny plants under his care – definitely living up to his name this week. Gardeners from around the world join in – there’s usually some tropical flowers to lift my spirits at this time of year.

*****

My Self-care when I can’t garden

I’ve written often about how gardening and being in the garden is my happy place, it lifts my mood – it’s vital to my self-care.

So what do I do when it’s hurling down and I can’t get out into the garden?…

ln daylight, I sit so I can see out into the back garden – I have plenty of violas and pansies by the door. The porch and path have viola pots too 🙂 I check the small flowers as I go in and out. Concentrating makes you focus on the moment – that’s a good thing 🙂

During the week, when I’m at work, there’s no chance of getting out in the garden as it’s dark when I get home – what do I do then? I go for a walk at lunchtime even in the rain, noticing the plants, birds and animals as I walk around Oxford Road in Manchester. It is surprising how much urban wildlife and plants even in places they shouldn’t be.

Find YOUR self-care

Everyone seems frazzled and stressed in December – it seems as if they’re rushing around trying to please everyone else…so many expectations and meanwhile forgetting to take care of themselves… it’s a quick way to burn out 🙁

Here are some of my self-care options when the weather is grim and I’m hunkered down in our house – usually with music in the background 😉

  • Yoga
  • Sewing – I’m making Christmas tree decorations from felt.
  • Making soup – I like chopping things
  • Baking biscuits – quick 🙂
  • Soak in the bath – with candles –
  • we light candles every night in the lounge too – scent is a powerful mood enhancer
  • Mindfulness – breathing apps 🙂
  • Audiobooks
  • Writing postcards/cards to my friends – Everyone loves real post.
  • Listening to My Chap play his guitar.

Please don’t forget about YOUR self-care… and find what helps you… everyone is different so you need alternative self-care options.

*****

What are you planning for next year? We’re planning our Cornish holiday too.

Have you been to a garden light show like #ChristmasatDunhamMassey? 

What’s your self-care when the weather is horrible?

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx xx xx

In a Vase on Monday – Love, fire and determination

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.

Ann Landers (1918-2002) American Advice Columnist

For various reasons, which I won’t go into right now, we have barely been in the garden this year (2018)  it’s been tumultuous, to say the least – no time for much apart from pressing issues, let alone gardening or blogging.  From the patio window, I’d seen various bulbs flower and go over, during late winter and early Spring, dwarf irises, crocuses, various daffodils and narcissi, and the early tulips.  At Easter weekend we had a bit more time and some dry weather, we ventured into the garden to see how things were and start tidying up – there were quite a few tulips around. so I picked some which reminded me of fire. There was also tête-à-tête daffodils and some orange wallflower.

Our Wedding Plans

My Chap and I have got back to arrangements for our wedding in September this week 🙂 we’ve got a flowery theme – and regular readers won’t be surprised to know it features purple. I CANNOT WAIT to get married to him and continue our life together – happily married.

tête-à-tête daffodils, orange and red tulips, orange wall flower, red triangular crystal vase

In a Vase on Monday – daffodils, orange and red tulips, orange wallflower – 19 April 2017

 

They’re in a vase which I found in the house of my friend, who died in 2015. It was his mother’s but I never saw any flowers in the house, in the 25 years I knew her.  It’s a 1960s crystal style triangular vase – it wasn’t her taste at all so I think it might have been a wedding gift.  She was a very determined lady – a Northern matriarch with a love of crosswords and opera. We always got on very well.  I miss her too, she died in 2013.

I’ve used the vase and daffodils before for in a Vase on Monday:

daffodils collage

In a Vase on Monday – reminding me of fire – 19 April 2017

I’m joining Cathy from Rambling in the Garden who hosts this worldwide link up of people picking flowers and foliage from their gardens or locality – she has a lovely fresh pink and blue vase – with a tulips in it too (as Cathy says – a hazard of this time of year but I don’t mind as I love tulips).  It SO helps me to look at other people’s flowers and arrangements- it lifts my mood even in the darkest times (metaphorically as well as physically). Cathy, and the other gardening bloggers, have been lovely to me during all the tribulations I’ve had over the last few years – so many supportive and positive comments.  Thank you everyone – it means so much to me.

tulips daffodils wallflowers in a triangular, red glass vase with a wooden plaque

Just some of the things my garden means to me – 19 April 2017

My Resilience

Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of.
Bethany Hamilton (1990 – ) Professional surfer who lost her left arm in a shark attack aged 13.

I’m a grown woman and many people would say I’m a determined person, with bucket loads of resilience – but gosh it’s been tested recently, with everything that life has thrown at My Chap and me over the last few years – once again I’m feeling chronically exhausted, with a lot of physical pain, especially from my arthritis.

I’m channelling all these attributes Bethany speaks of, and the determination of my suffragette granny, to keep going one day at a time, gradually getting better again.  All the women in my family are resolute, tenacious women – whatever their age 😉

I am SO looking forward to spending our wedding day in September with these women, with my female pals from all across the world some I’ve known for decades and some much more recently. The blokes I know are pretty awesome too.  It’s going to be a day of fun, flowers, cake, music, dancing but most of all love and laughter.   Fingers crossed for no rain as we are planning an outdoor ceremony.

I am grateful every day for my family and friends, but most of all I am grateful my wonderful Chap pitched up in my life nearly seven years ago.  I would be in a pickle if he wasn’t here holding my hand.  Fire in our hearts always – I definitely agree with theAnn Landers quote.

I’m determined to get out in the garden more too – It’s my solace and I know it will help me.   And pick some more flowers for vases too.

Have a lovely week.

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx

 

 

 

spring wreath - tulips, roses,

In a vase on Monday (not)- Spring wreath

Inspiring Women – motto of the Women’s Institute 

I went on a wonderful adventure last weekend – a flower arranging course in a Georgian mansion in the beautiful village of Marcham, in Oxfordshire.   It wasn’t just in any old place – I went to Denman College which is part of the Women’s Institute.

Denman is home of the cookery school, craft and lifestyle courses – there are over 500 courses each year from day courses to week long ones covering all sorts of topics – not just what you’d expect from the WI – cooking, preserves, crafting, dressmaking, etc. They have classes on history, writing, dancing, drumming, as well as lots of trips and walks.

It was a spur of the moment thing to go – I’ve had such a rough time last year and things are hard going at work, because of departmental mergers. I thought of the contributors to ‘In a vase on Monday’ from all around the world and especially our host Cathy – so much inspiration and support from everyone.  I’ve learnt a lot about flower arranging since I started my blog in February last year, though I mostly ‘plonk’ flowers in vases.  I thought now was a good time to learn more.   Also a change of scene – Denman and it’s 17 acres looked amazing on the photos.   So I ‘seized the day’!

spring wreath - tulips, roses,

Spring wreath I made at Women’s Institute Denman College – 1st April 2016

Do have a look at Cathy’s vase over at ‘Rambling in the Garden‘ – she has some beautiful tulips this week. Quite a few of my fellow – vase fillers have chosen tulips this week too.  My tulips in the garden are nearly ready to bloom – lots of purple and white ones from what I remember.   They’re one of my favourite flowers so I’ve planted many in the garden this year,  which seem to have escaped the squirrels – hurrah!

How to make a Spring Wreath

So today’s ‘In a vase on Monday’ isn’t what it should be – not posted on a Monday (Sunday!), not flowers from my garden and not a vase…. so I hope you don’t mind.

  • most of flowers and foliage are from Christine Pearce’s (the tutor) north facing garden in Abingdon in Oxfordshire, or from around the grounds of Denman (with permission) and
  • the roses, tulips and carnation are from the wholesaler – I hope this counts as ‘local’ for purposes of ‘In a vase on Monday’.
  • flowers – tulips, carnations and roses
  • foliage – Elaeagnus, rosemary, ivy, cornus, Choisya, euonymus
  • wreath base – hessian and hay with a block of oasis at the bottom right.
  • the wreath has a tiny vase in it – can you spot it?
  • I used Oasis for the first time – not too complicated considering everything… and I’ll definitely make more wreaths

My Chap was very impressed!

Wreath Repair 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Spring wreath with the first tulip from the garden by our front door- 4th April 2016

The wreath needed a bit of repair when it got home as it was warm in the classroom and the car…droopy tulips – so I added the first tulip from our garden and a tête a tête.

tulip and daffs Collage

We learnt how to make :

  • how to make this Spring wreath – surprisingly simple to do and my first time using Oasis.
  • pot fleur flower arrangement – my 2nd arrangement on the course.
  • my hand-tied bouquet with Spring flowers – 3rd arrangement – v simple and logical to do.

How to make a hand-tied bouquet – video

Here’s a video on the Women’s Institute youtube channel – my tutor Chris Pearce – explaining how to make a hand-bouquet:

Update September 2018 – I’m going to Denman College in September with my Mum.

fountain, garden and view of the house at Denman College,

Denman College – the training centre for the Women’s Institute, Marcham Oxfordshire – 3 April 2016

Anyone can attend a course at Denman – you don’t need to be a member of the WI or a woman! People hold weddings there too.

Fountain and summer house at Denman College - 3 April 2016

Fountain and summer house at Denman College – 3 April 2016

I had a truly wonderful time, in a beautiful location, great food but most of all, with some lovely ladies (mostly from the WI and some not) – the sun was shining too.  I’ll definitely be back.

Carpe Diem

love Bec xx

Disclaimer: I paid full price for my course at Denman College and neither Denman or the Women’s Institute asked me to write a blog post about my visit.  

 

Lilac, pincushions, tulips and recycled glass – In a Vase on Monday

I managed to dodge the torrential rain to get my contribution to ‘In a Vase on Monday’ – late as usual but I’ve got a very good excuse.  I picked lilac from a dwarf tree my mum gave me last year, an anemone, the last  purple tulip, some Scabiosa (often called pincushion plants), and  the greenery is from a white potentilla which hasn’t started flowering yet.

recycled glass tealight, aemone, lilac, tulip,

In a vase on Monday – 18 May 2015

The vase is actually a tea light holder made from recycled glass with a little metal hook.   I bought it at the Eden project a couple of weeks ago – as you can imagine they use a lot of recycled materials and there are some really lovely things on their website shop.  I liked the colour combination of shades of purple/lilac and a bright green.

Do have a look to see what other people have picked over at Cathy’s blog – Rambling in the Garden

She’s got a rainbow of colours and ribbons this week – it really cheered me up – Thank you Cathy.

The lilac bush smells wonderful – it’s sitting next to my bistro table at the bottom of my garden – not that we’ve had much time to sit outside as it’s been very wet and windy.

lilac bush - views from a garden bench

dwarf lilac bush – May 2015

I haven’t been around much recently on the blog or in Manchester – we were in Cornwall ‘on holiday’ for a week which definitely wasn’t enough time.  I fellt like I’d just skimmed the surface of Cornwall. We are already planning our next visit, probably in September.

Since I’ve been back home, I’ve been horrendously busy. Big life issues have got in the way to say the least – a very old, close friend of mine died very suddenly at the end of April; pals from University and I organised his funeral last week. We are all in a state of shock.

image

So we had a lovely, but very weird holiday to Cornwall, we were staying in beautiful cottage Charlestown with a view of the sea from the windows. Charlestown is an 18th century port (with its own tall ship) on the edge of St Austell with a couple of restaurants, pubs and a lot of craft/art shops. Good walks along the cliffs locally too.   I’ll write in more detail about our holiday another time.

Life Guard Hut - St Ives

Life Guard Hut – St Ives – May 2015

We visited:

  • The Lost Gardens of Heligan
    I have wanted to go to Heligan for a very long time. The rhododendrons were  out near the house; they were stunning and over 60 foot high; there is just so much to see there all year round.
  • The Eden Project This was our 2nd time – we visited September 2014 – this time the aerial walkway in the tropical dome was open and the view was stunning.
  • Caerhays Castle
    it has the national collection of magnolias but we went to see the camellias, rhodenendron and azaleas – There are miles of forest walks and we saw four people all day.
  • St Ives – wonderful place the sea was turquoise and the sand was white – it was very, very windy the day we went though.  My Chap finally got to go inside the Tate Gallery – he was very happy.
  • Looe – the sea was out, so not a lot of fishing boat activity, but there were some great fishmongers.
  • Polperro – the archetypical 18/19th century Cornish fishing village but it seemed to be full of holiday cottages and v shabby.

And alot of walks along the sea and cliffs – throwing stones in the sea and listening to Ludovico Einaudi.
If you’re local – do to Caerhays and Heligan before the rhododendrons  and azaelas  go over. You won’t regret it.

There are many wonderful gardens in Cornwall – have a look at the Great Gardens of Cornwall

*****

It has been the hardest and weirdest few weeks of my life but I know I’ll get through this difficult time.

They say it’s better to bury your sadness … In a garden that waits for the Spring to wake from its sleep and burst into green.   Conor oberst – musician – www.conoroberst.com/

I’ll do this though my sadness is very deep – I know gardening will help me.   The Great Gardens of Cornwall helped to replenish my soul and my Chap, my friends, my garden, the hills and the sea will do the rest.  That and the RHS Chelsea flower show on TV.

*****

Have a wonderful week everyone – Carpe Diem

Love Bec xxx

Raspberry ripple tulips, blossom and holidays! In a vase on Monday

Gardening tulips dogwood

In a vase on Monday – Tulips and dogwood – 27April 2015

It’s glorious sunshine in Manchester today, I decided to feature tulips again in my vase on Monday (Yellow and purple ones last week). These three reminded me of ripe cherries and raspberry ripple ice cream.  This could be because I’ve got holidays on my mind. We’re off to Cornwall on Saturday for a week – I am so excited!  I went last September (2014) for the first time in nearly 30 years. We had a wonderful time, especially at the Eden Project, so we’ll be going back there, the ‘Lost gardens of Helligan’ and the beaches too. Heaven!

These tulips were planted last autumn – I’ve mentioned before how much I like purple. These came from Wilko’s but as usual, I’ve got no idea what they’re called.

tulips gardening

Three purple, pink and raspberry ripple tulips – in a vase on Monday 27 April 2015

The dogwood (Cornus) is a variegated one with red stems in the winter.   It’s at the end of my garden and pokes out between a row of conifers in my neighbour’s plot . It hangs over into our garden; so we prune it, so it doesn’t poke me in the eye when I’m gardening.    Dogwood is easy to grow but it definitely needs pruning for it to be at its best; it spreads though if it’s left and the old wood doesn’t have the glorious stem colour.  There are loads of varieties including ones with yellow stems, it’s very common in gardens here in the UK because of it’s all round interest and its hardy.

I liked the contrast of colours with the purples, pinks, greens and whites. Also thought too much foliage would overwhelm the tulips.

I’ve used the same vase last week as I haven’t got any other tall thin ones – though I think The Chap might be bringing something home from work for me.

gardenin tulip dogwood vase

In the sunshine – tulips and dogwood – 27 April 2015

We had a good day in the garden yesterday after a very hectic few weeks.   I rearranged my strawberry plants, put a dwarf raspberry in a larger pot and put the tumbling tomatoes in hanging baskets.   Also I tidied up all the fuscias in pots we’d over wintered in the garage and thought about what I’d put where.   A bit of TCL for my cosmos seedlings too – fingers crossed they survive us going away.  And The Chap put up the solar lights up too – we’ve eaten out in the garden 9 times so far this year.

The other things I’m enjoying this week are the wonderful blossom on the cherry, apple, hawthorn tree – they look incredible this year.     There are many around where I live, as it’s full of Victorian houses and mature gardens.  I’ve only got room for two dwarf apple trees in pots in my garden but I’d love more.  The blossom is really brighting my drive to and from work; I really must get out and take some photos this week as they’ll be gone soon.

Cherry blossom

Cherry blossom – 26 April 2015 – NO FILTER!!

Do have a look at Rambling in the Garden where Cathy hosts ‘In  a vase on Monday’
 www.ramblinglinginthegarden.wordpress.com. She’s got a wonderful selection of vases this week and is celebrating her 1000th blog post – I’m a very long way off that milestone. It’s great to see what people are growing around the world.

What plants have you enjoyed this weekend? Or have you been to Cornwall? Any suggestions where to go?

Have a lovely time

Carpe Diem

love Bec xxx